Simple meal recipes
These meal suggestions are simple to prepare, and some can be frozen to eat later. Most of these suggestions are suitable for a soft diet or can be minced or pureed, if needed.
Learn recipes for:
- 3–4 pieces seasonal fruit (e.g. pear, apple, plum), peeled, cored, chopped
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup full-cream custard or ice-cream (or 2 tbsp cream)
Method: Place fruit and orange juice in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook for about 20–30 minutes, stirring occasionally until fruit softens (the total time will depend on the hardness of the fruit).
Serve with the full-cream custard, ice-cream or cream.
- 1 cup long-grain white rice (uncooked)
- 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cm knob of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- salt, soy sauce or sesame oil (optional)
- 2 tbsp sliced green shallots (optional)
Method: Add rice, stock and ginger to a large pot and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally to stop rice sticking to the pot, until the congee is thick and creamy. Add salt, soy sauce or sesame oil to taste and top with green shallots if preferred.
For protein, add 200 g diced chicken breast near the end of cooking. Leave for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
- 500 g beef, lamb, pork or chicken mince
- ½ cup plain breadcrumbs herbs and spices (optional)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp margarine/butter or olive oil
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1½ cups water or stock
Method: Combine mince, breadcrumbs, herbs and spices (if using) and egg in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well with a fork and form into golf-sized balls. Heat the margarine or oil in a frying pan and cook meatballs until brown. Remove meatballs from pan. Combine the pan juices, flour and water or stock and cook on a low heat until a thick gravy forms. Add the meatballs to the gravy and simmer for 1–1½ hours.
Serve with mashed potato, rice or pasta.
- oil, for greasing dish
- 400 g sweet potato or pumpkin, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 parsnip and 1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- ½ cup thickened cream
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
Method: Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a medium ovenproof dish with oil. Layer the vegetables in the prepared dish. Drizzle each layer with a small amount of cream. Top with the remaining cream and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender and top is golden brown.
Use whatever vegetables you have.
Video: How to eat well after a cancer diagnosis
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Jacqueline Baker, Senior Oncology Dietitian, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Lauren Atkins, Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian, OnCore Nutrition, VIC; Dr Tsien Fua, Head and Neck Radiation Oncology Specialist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Rosemerry Hodgkin, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Clare Hughes, Manager, Nutrition Unit, Cancer Council NSW; John Spurr, Consumer; Emma Vale, Senior Dietitian, GenesisCare, SA; David Wood, Consumer.
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